According to Brian Cathcart, professor of journalism at Kingston University London, the accusations of bigoted coverage come at a moment of some vulnerability for Britain’s feared tabloids.

Like traditional print news media globally, Britain’s popular press is suffering a decline in circulation and advertising. It has suffered a proportional decline in influence, analysts say, although it retains significant power to set the agenda for the broadcast media.

Analysts play down the prospect of new media laws, saying Prime Minister Boris Johnson has dropped the idea of new regulation.

Yet the buccaneering swagger with which the tabloids once operated seems to have been much reduced.

“They are very upset at losing the legal case to Meghan and Harry, they were very upset because they were humiliated,” Mr. Cathcart said. “They are also worried that Harry and Meghan said that Buckingham Palace is in the pocket of the tabloids.”

Their response, he said, was to play the story relatively straight, and to concentrate on the elements of it that do not focus on the media’s coverage of the royal family.

“They are not sorry, they are not embarrassed, and they are going to brazen this out,” he said. “They are going to hope this dies down.”

Anna Joyce contributed reporting.

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